The Rutland Raiders have had the Brattleboro Colonels’ number in girls hockey for the past five years, most recently when Rutland knocked them out of the playoffs last season.
That made last Wednesday’s 1-0 win over the Raiders at Nelson Withington Rink that much sweeter for the Colonels.
Brattleboro — which lost its opening game to Northfield, 2-0, on Dec. 11 — came out against the Raiders playing what Colonels coach Linda Burke called “smart, disciplined hockey.”
Great defense and goaltending marked this game. Colonels goalie Brianna Snow made 12 saves, and defenders Jesse Woodcock, Rebecca Potter and Madison Doucette were outstanding in disrupting the Rutland offense.
The great effort on defense was needed to help the Colonels’ lone goal stand up. Emily Wilson scored with 7:37 left in the first period off a pass from Logan Robinson, and while the Colonels had other chances, Rutland goalie Brittany Pelkey kept the Raiders in the game with a stellar effort between the pipes.
The Colonels built on their success against Rutland with a 9-0 rout of Woodstock on Saturday. Miranda Moseley scored four goals, Wilson scored twice, and Robinson, Maddie Rollins, and Tylynn Isaacson each added a goal. Rollins and Jen Hutton also tallied two assists each as the Colonels outshot the Wasps, 36-6.
• The Brattleboro Colonels’ woes on offense continued on Saturday in a 4-1 home loss against the Burr & Burton Bulldogs. Again, Brattleboro’s lone goal didn’t come until the third period, when Andy Harris scored with 5:28 left to spoil the Bulldogs’ shutout bid. Now 0-2, the Colonels are off until Dec. 27 and 28, when they play in the Middlebury Tournament.
• The Brattleboro Colonels have plenty of speed this season, but what they don’t have is height. Unfortunately for the Colonels, Spaulding has plenty of height and the Crimson Tide exploited that advantage to a 48-44 win at the BUHS gym last Thursday.
Spaulding center Aliza Benoit scored 17 points and pretty much had her way against smaller defenders Lindsay Johnson, Kelsey Patterson, and Erin LeBlanc. Even though she fouled out midway through the fourth quarter, Benoit did her job.
LeBlanc led the Colonels with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Ariel Kane added 12 points. The Colonels led 24-21 at the half, but Spaulding went on a 14-4 run in the third quarter to put the game out of reach, despite a late flurry by the Colonels.
Brattleboro lost its road opener at St. Johnsbury last Tuesday as the Hilltoppers used great defense to earn a 42-32 win. Brattleboro led 30-29 going into the final quarter, but the defending state champion Hilltoppers held the Colonels to just two points the rest of the way. Taylor Kerylow had nine points, four assists, and three steals to lead the Colonels. Mary Richardson added seven points and LeBlanc had six points, seven rebounds, and three steals.
• Leland & Gray got by Twin Valley, 28-23, in the season opener for both teams last Monday in Wilmington. Bethany Robinson was the Rebels’ top scorer with 10 points, while Sam Bernard led the Wildcats with nine points and 11 rebounds. It was Leland & Gray’s first win over Twin Valley since 2006.
• Twin Valley stayed on the skids with a 42-19 loss at Poultney last Thursday. The Wildcats were held to just one point is the first half. Bernard led Twin Valley with six points and 11 rebounds.
• Bellows Falls lost its home opener to Burr & Burton, 46-13, last Monday. Sara Dumont scored six points for the Terriers.
• The Brattleboro Colonels played host to the North-South Classic at the BUHS gym over the weekend, with mixed results.
On Friday, the Colonels got past Burlington, 65-61. Brattleboro had great scoring balance as four different players scored in double figures for Brattleboro — Tommy Heydinger (13 points), Soren Pelz-Walsh (12 points), and Travis Elliott-Knaggs and Travis Beeman-Nesbitt (10 points each). A 14-1 surge to start the fourth quarter helped put the game away for the Colonels.
On Saturday, Brattleboro got beaten by Essex, 62-50. Brattleboro led 26-25 at the half, but good defensive pressure by Essex and three three-pointers by Ben Ferris put the game out of reach in the third quarter. Ferris led all scorers with 29 points. Elliott-Knaggs was the Colonels’ top scorer with 17 points, including a trio of three-pointers. Pelz-Walsh and Heydinger chipped in 10 and 9 points, respectively.
The Colonels opened their season last Tuesday with a 64-49 home win over Hoosac Valley. Elliott-Knaggs (16 points), Beeman-Nesbitt (15 points), and Heydinger (14 points) led the scorers.
• Bellows Falls opened its season in the Springfield Tournament. After losing 43-40 to Lyndon on Dec. 11, the Terriers got clobbered by Hartford, 85-26, last Tuesday.
• Twin Valley opened its season in the Mount St. Joseph Tournament in Rutland. The Wildcats lost the first game to Otter Valley, 41-24, as Troy Birch had 11 points and 12 rebounds.
• Leland & Gray appeared in the Arlington Tip-Off Tournament last Wednesday, where they stomped the host team, 68-16. The Rebels sped out to a 22-2 lead over Arlington after one quarter. By the half, it was 44-9. Matt Bizon led the Rebels with 21 points, while Colin Nystrom added 14. As a team, the Rebels had 25 steals for the game.
Learn to ski for free
If you are an aspiring skier or snowboarder, and want to help turn on a friend or family member to the sport, January is the month to do it.
Stratton and Mount Snow are both offering a “Share the Love of Winter” promotion. Two people aged 13 and up can share their first day on the slopes learning to alpine ski or snowboard together for the price of one beginner package. This offer includes a beginner lift ticket, group lesson and rental equipment for the full day.
This is a month-long promotion, excluding the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend blackout dates of Jan. 15-17.
Reservations are recommended. Call Mount Snow at 800-889-4411, or Stratton at 800-STRATTON, and tell them you are interested in Ski Vermont’s two-for-one learn to ski and ride package.